Music and film industry websites targeted in cyber attacks
Pro-piracy sympathisers have launched distributed denial of service attacks against a number of high-profile music and movie industry websites, which have forced the sites offline
Internet users who disagree with attempts to stifle illegal filesharing and film and music piracy have launched coordinated attacks against a number of high-profile creative industry websites.
The attacks – known as distributed denial of service attacks, or DDoS – overwhelm a website with connection requests and force it offline.
Pro-piracy sympathisers have been using the 4chan message boards to spread word of the attacks, known as Operation Payback.
The attacks have already taken the websites of the Motion Picture Association of America and Recording Industry Association of America offline, and a similar attack is expected later today on the UK’s BPI website, which represents artists and record labels.
Campaigners said Operation Payback was a response to claims made in an Australian newspaper by an Indian software company that film and music organisations had sanctioned DDoS attacks against websites suspected of hosting pirated content.
"We brought them down the same way they brought down The Pirate Bay, with a distributed denial of service," said one hacker on the 4Chan site.
Sympathisers are urged to download a piece of software that, when pointed at a web address, bombards the site with connection requests until it buckles under the strain.
Denial of service attacks are illegal under the Police and Justice Act 2006, and perpetrators can be imprisoned for up to 10 years.
The BPI has not commented on claims its website could be targeted by a fresh wave of attacks.